Go Set a Watchman: A Novel by Harper LeeGo Set a Watchman: A Novel by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman: A Novel

byHarper Lee

Paperback | May 3, 2016

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#1 New York Times Bestseller

Go Set a Watchman is such an important book, perhaps the most important novel on race to come out of the white South in decades…
   — New York Times (Opinion Pages)

A landmark novel by Harper Lee, set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—“Scout”—returns home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one’s own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of the late Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama. She was educated at Huntington College, the University of Alabama, and Oxford University. She won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for To Kill a Mockingbird. The book was adapted as a feature film in 1962 and a London stage play in 1987. Her second book, Go Set a W...
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Title:Go Set a Watchman: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.65 inPublished:May 3, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062409867

ISBN - 13:9780062409867

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Let down Honestly this was a major disappointment. No where near as good as it was advertised. First of all it was written in third person where "To Kill a Mockingbird" was in first, which made it seem like a different story all together. Also I find Scout was nothing like the character she was in the original. Maybe it was just the high bar Harper Lee's first book set.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Decent read; unfortunately, nowhere near as good as its predecessor
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but not great I enjoyed the book as a light read, but it holds nothing to to kill a mockingbird. It felt almost more like fan fiction than a true sequel to such an amazing and iconic first novel. I was a little disappointed overall, but am glad I read it anyways.
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from worth the read not horrible but not a standout story
Date published: 2017-04-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Should never have been published The story is awful and tarnishes the legacy of Ms. Lee and of "To Kill a Mockingbird". The writing is sub par and I am glad I did not spend money on this book. The characters are awful and I definitely didn't enjoy the story.
Date published: 2017-04-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay.... I found this book no where near as good as "To Kill a Mockingbird". Read it more out of curiosity and found it okay. I would recommend reading it for continuity for the first book .
Date published: 2017-04-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from it was alright. a decent story; not as good as To Kill a Mockingbird.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nostalgia is Not a Great Friend Not for the thin-skinned or sentimental.
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyed the Story I was disappointed as this book does not compare To Kill a Mocking Bird; but I did enjoy the read.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fresh perspective I enjoyed this book. It may be dry and it may drag on for some people. The whole idea of it is completely different, but what you need to remember is that it is not a "part two" to "To Kill a Mockingbird". It is just a glimpse of the changes - or lack there of - of a family, a town, a way of life. Again, I enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointingly Different I absolutely love To Kill a Mockingbird and I was excited to read this book because it was going to be seen through an adult Scout's perspective. However, this book was very different. I hardly recognized the characters that we all know and love and to be honest I found it difficult to read. It was hard to follow along and by the end of the book I wasn't even sure of what I had just read. It wasn't at all what I had expected it to be.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from unable to finish I had difficulty reading this book. I purchased it because of the publicity, but found the story to be a let-down.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as good as TKAMB I did enjoy reading this but it being the first draft of what would become TKAMB I get it. The best parts are when there are flashbacks to childhood that then would be the story of TKAMB. It was neat that they published this but still cant be the original classic!!
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A Massive Step Down To Kill a Mocking Bird is one of my all time favorite books so I had high hopes for this. I'm sorry to say that I was very disappointed. The story line was dull and difficult to follow. It was all I could do to keep reading in the hopes that it would get better but eventually I just gave up and stopped reading. Don't buy this book.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Still love! Was not as great as To Kill a Mockingbird, but still a wonderful book! However, Atticus breaks my heart in this one. Don't expect it to be as great as the first, but still a must-read if you liked TKAM.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great gift! Bought this for a friend and she loved it! Would recommend purchasing any Harper Lee fans a collection of Lee's books!
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I didn't actually even finish this book unfortunately... I was so excited for it after To Kill a Mockingbird, which I love, but this one fell short and wasn't at all what I was expecting.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Oh how disappointing I actually wish I had never read this book. It tarnishes the magnificent To Kill a Mockingbird.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing If you hold the original To Kill a Mockingbird near and dear to your heart, don't read this.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good! Like the first book, it gets a bit hard to read and you have to stay a bit dedicated but it is worth it like to kill a mockingbird. The book takes place later in life when Scout is grown up and it is wonderful to see how little she has changed personality wise.
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Follow Up This book is really interesting. As it turns out, it was written before TKAMB.
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from kind of a let down I found this book to be a disappointment. After reading to kill a mocking bird you think Atticus Finch is an all around good guy. In this book the actual ignorance and racism shines through. While I understand it is of a different time. It was still sad to see.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not bad but not great I enjoyed the book but was not a strong follow-up to the original. It seemed a little contrived and nostalgic than actual material. But if you enjoyed the first one you will also enjoy this.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Worthy Sequel Although my heart was almost broken in ways I can't explain after reading it, the book was interesting to read. I think there was a lot of random character development compared to where everyone ended in "To Kill a Mockingbird" without much explanation of what happened to characters to change them over the time between the books. The story kept me interested all the way through regardless!
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Excellent Read I bought this book in November and although I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book, To Kill A Mockingbird, it's still pretty good. It's worth a read even if you don't want it as part of a collection.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from gr8 book rlly good extension of tkam
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking For some strange, inexplicable reason that a lot of people have explained very well in their reviews, this book made me sob and has left me feeling heartbrokenly bereft.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Okay This is a really good continuation of TKAM, with Scout as a grown up who kept her childhood characteristics, though it feels weird to see her being addressed as Jean Louise. We see some of the old characters that we know (Atticus, Aunt Alexandra) as well as being introduced to new ones (Henry "Hank"). However, I was not ready to find out about the sudden character change in Atticus as well as Jem's position within the story. However, this book is filled with numerous flashbacks that will keep the readers entertained.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is the book she should have published Like TKAM it's a coming of age story, but written from the point of view of an adult. I liked this better because it gives a much more balanced view of Her father and how people had to delicately navigate through life in the South during the years of the Jim Crow laws prior to the civil rights movement. People are not stereo types, and now having read both novels I feel that TKAM is a sanitized and safe version of the serious values Lee was trying to make. I also think the film version has coloured (no pun intended) our view of the south and manipulated our egotistic self serving sense of righteousness towards the civil rights movement. the best character in the novel, and the voice of truth is reall her uncle. Put away your preconceived notions and carefully read this book.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Read. Read this book in a week. It's a slow burner and not much really happens from beginning to end but well worth the read to see what Scout Finch is doing after she moves to the Big Apple. Also worth while if you've read To Kill a Mockingbird.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Worth a read for TKAM lovers Listened to the first half on audiobook, which was narrated by Reese Witherspoon. I would highly recommend this, although I am a fan of hers already. I felt disconnected with the story once I turned to book. Of course it was no TKAM, but I am not as offended as some people are. If this was written before, it is so interesting to see her process. The main storyline was just meh, but I just love loved scout's flashbacks. They gave us a glimpse of Jem and Scout's lives after TKAM, and it was told with a lot of the same charm.
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Great price right now but it is one of Harper Lee's novels I did not like as much.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A little disappointing I didn't hate it, but it was not nearly as good as To Kill a Mockingbird. The most disappointing part for me was Atticus.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointing Like many, I love To Kill a Mockingbird, and I didn't really like Go Set a Watchman. Characters in this seem fundamentally different from how they were in Mockingbird, and it almost makes me appreciate Mockingbird less if this is supposedly what they went on to be.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read I definitely enjoyed reading Go Set a Watchman. It had homour, and shone a new light on the characters you grew to love in To Kill a Mockingbird. I would say that it is well written, but not quite as well done as To Kill A Mockingbird, still a very good read though
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read I definitely enjoyed reading Go Set a Watchman. It had homour, and shone a new light on the characters you grew to love in To Kill a Mockingbird. I would say that it is well written, but not quite as well done as To Kill A Mockingbird, still a very good read though
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Mostly Terrible I've read to Kill a Mockingbird multiple times and completely love the book, so I didn't expect this novel to top the original but I also didn't expect it to be this terrible either. Plot threads from the original book are dropped or just brushed off, characters have straight up different personalities, and the quality of writing is awful. After some research it seems this book isn't a sequel so much as it is Harper Lee's original draft of the first book. Apparently her editor hated it and she went back, started from scratch, and came up with To Kill a Mockingbird. Which makes so much sense as aspects of this book do not line up with the first. I could barely finish it. You're better off not touching it and enjoying To Kill a Mockingbird again.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not As Good As I Was Expecting Reading this novel immediately after “To Kill a Mockingbird” was disappointing. Gone is the beautiful prose and imagery of Lee’s first novel. Although the same characters appear in both books, this definitely does not feel like a sequel. The inconsistencies and what felt like a lack of editing drove me to distraction and I had a difficult time finishing it. Definitely best to go into this book without any preconceived ideas of what it will be like.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worthwhile squeal... To Kill a Mockingbird was a favourite of mine, so I was weary of this book. However, I am so glad that I read it. I think it is a worthwhile squeal.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I expected While this book does not compare to To Kill a mockingbird. Its still a great read.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A good book Theres no doubt of Harper Lees writing skills. I loved this book, almost as much as To kill a Mocking bird.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Can't top her first I enjoyed reading To Kill A Mockingbird. I did not expect and do not think this book tops it, but this book was still a good read. I would recommend it to everyone who liked her first book.
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different from what i expected I was excited when I learned a book from Harper Lee would be published. Good read but not as excellent as to kill a mockingbird
Date published: 2015-10-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Go set a watchman I enjoyed the book . It made me understand the southern people a little Better. The difference between the north and south And the book of to kill a mockingbird The thing is thirty years ago not much had changed. The old saying the more thing's Chiang,d the they stay the same.
Date published: 2015-10-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing As I do love "To Kill Mockingbird" wholeheartedly, I was so excited to read this new book. It wasnt like the previous one, full of inspirational quotations, but it made me think. Read it and enjoy!
Date published: 2015-10-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Political Difficult without a measure of knowledge on US political history. Would have loved a followup in between novels....so many questions left unanswered.
Date published: 2015-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Don't believe all of the early reviews! It is interesting to think that this was written before To Kill a Mockingbird. I would not have been able to grasp the meaning without TKAM. As I read the book I did not find the writting style as smooth as TKAM, but I never found a section that I just could not read. Some of the early sections were slow. Many of the things I found as problems at first turned out to be literary devices that work very well by the end. The disappointment in Atticus that the reader feels is the same thing Scout feels from the perspective of an adult returning and finding her parent is not perfect - how many of us have not experiance that! There has been speculation that Harper Lee was pressured into releaseing this book - I think that she just felt that now is the right time. We can view the civil rights movement from the perspective of history, and we might learn something that impacts our view of things that are happening today. I recommend this book - read it and enjoy another well told story.
Date published: 2015-09-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Don't believe all of the early reviews! It is interesting to think that this was written before To Kill a Mockingbird. I would not have been able to grasp the meaning without TKAM. As I read the book I did not find the writting style as smooth as TKAM, but I never found a section that I just could not read. Some of the early sections were slow. Many of the things I found as problems at first turned out to be literary devices that work very well by the end. The disappointment in Atticus that the reader feels is the same thing Scout feels from the perspective of an adult returning and finding her parent is not perfect - how many of us have not experiance that! There has been speculation that Harper Lee was pressured into releaseing this book - I think that she just felt that now is the right time. We can view the civil rights movement from the perspective of history, and we might learn something that impacts our view of things that are happening today. I recommend this book - read it and enjoy another well told story.
Date published: 2015-09-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I like this book. I've read To Kill a Mockingbird before, and now I'm reading this book, and so I'm learning something new about the old characters.
Date published: 2015-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought provoking I loved this. I don't know what to say. People have expressed a disappointment in Atticus in this novel. It isn't as simple as that. It is the big picture of society, relationships, family and coming of age. Lots to think about. I'm left hoping Harper Lee has another book in her attic.
Date published: 2015-09-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Are we still talking about this? Racism and segregation is over. Why continue to try to mobilise society? we got it. We are inclusive
Date published: 2015-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great comeback I loved that Lee's book is unapologetic about its discussion of race and family relations. As a lesbian I identified strongly with some of the father-daughter moments, just one example of the transcendance of the book. Otherwise, powerful and an important look at race both historically and how many of it holds weight still today.
Date published: 2015-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I was na exceedingly odd young lady "I was an exceedingly odd young lady --- Suffering much from spleen and vapors." Scout Finch is all grown up at 26 and is returning home for her 2 week visit to Maycomb. This book is thoughtful, evocative, argumentative and extremely well composed. The narration and dialogue are top notch and you feel and think what Jean Louise Finch is thinking and feeling. A wonderful conclusion to, To Kill a Mockingbird. "I need a watchman to lead me around and declare what he seeth every hour on the hour. I need a watchmen to tell me this is what a man says but this is what he means, to draw a line down the middle and say here is justice and make me understand the difference." Scout finally comes to terms with the fact that her father Atticus Finch is not the man that she set upon a pillar all her life. He is just a man like any other and he makes mistakes just as any other might make. Enjoy!
Date published: 2015-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Go set a watchman You should read To kill a modified before you read this book. Both are well worth the read. I COULD NOT PUT EITHER DOWN.I am sure I will reread. Both. They are keepers. SCOUT was powerful in standing up to her hero father and now her thorn in her side but you know they still love and respect each other. A wonderful read .I can't believe these two books are the only ones Lee Harper wrote or am I mistaken
Date published: 2015-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A whole different animal This story isn't told in the same way that Mockingbird was at all. Whereas Mockingbird is a perfect example of a literary story, Watchman reads almost more like a modern play. It reveals that the issue of race is not simply black-and-white, but shades of gray; a messy moral issue so big that a children's story can't convey the whole reality of it. I think that's why this story needed to be published. People need to get fired up and angry about it; they need to both agree and disagree with it. It's nothing more than a story about a young woman's uncomfortable weekend back home, and yet it's fascinating.
Date published: 2015-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Go Set a Watchman I can understand why this story was not published when it was written. Reading To Kill a Mocking Bird was a gentel story that had charactors a reader of the time could understand and perhaps relate to. In Go Set a Watchman the charactors are still there but their stories and what made you love them also makes you want to try and understand why are they saying and doing what they do? If you read To Kill a Mocking Bird this is a must read. This story adds another twist to the times of Maycomb and Scouts relationship with Atticus Finch
Date published: 2015-08-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I have mixed feelings This book had me emotionally all over the place. I was happy, then shocked, then sad, then mad. Repeat, Repeat. At one point I wished I had not read it because I had placed To Kill a Mockingbird on such a high pedestal. This was written before TKAM but it takes place about 20 years later. I don't necessarily recommend this book to people but I do think it is an eye opening book that some will like and some will not like at all.
Date published: 2015-08-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Go set a watchman This novel is very poorly written and edited, a very boring book and one of the few books that I haven't been able to finish. Appears to have been published as a cash grab. I read that it was just a draft and not meant to be published. I wish it hadn't have been.
Date published: 2015-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read If you are reading this book thinking it's just the same as To Kill A Mockingbird you will be very disapointed. It is nothing like it. It is a fantastic book on its own. If you give it a chance and an open mind you will learn something from it and walk away satisfied.
Date published: 2015-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Go set a book Awesome book . The second book is just as good as the first. I suggest it. Read both or see the movie version of Mockingbird
Date published: 2015-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Go Set a Watchman - Timely Subject Matter"SPOILER" Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee, and was written prior to her critically acclaimed novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Both novels are about racial discrimination and living in the southern USA where there is a large population of African Americans in residence. Most have Ben employed for years by white families, together have created the relationships that are shown in this story. Go Set a Watchman is very timely, even though it was set in the 1960's, we are facing some of the same issues today as we did then. The book sets out the love and familiarity-affinity that many white families have with the African-Americans that were employed by them, how they were connected as a loving and close family, that everyone grew up with and came to believe that was the way it was in the south, everyone accepted their role, it seemed. That relationship changed when the Blacks were bombarded with the changes in legislation Federally and in their state; NAACP representatives advising them of their "rights" which most AfricanAmericans did not understand as they by and large were not educated to that high level, nor could look after themselves without employment with the white families they had always worked for.....the confusion ensues and the Blacks are unable to understand what is required of them in these new situations and often react with hatred and violence just as they do today when given a set of circumstances that need discussion and action, instead we get reaction and violence....
Date published: 2015-07-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not perfect, but worth a read In some ways, this is a far more realistic novel than TKAM was. Atticus is a more rounded character, and so is Jean Louise (formerly Scout). There is somewhat less idealizing of Maycomb as well although an affection for it is certainly there. Dialogue could be better at times and those last 20 pages, while they do sum up the events and views, are very stilted and somewhat irritating. I think it's worth a read for those of us who remember TKAM and its effect on us.
Date published: 2015-07-22

Editorial Reviews

“[Go Set a Watchman is] filled with the evocative language, realistic dialogue and sense of place that partially explains what made Mockingbird so beloved.”